It is in the nature of mind to be in a constant state of reactivity; and here we do not simply mean what is implied in the usual sense of the word. We mean something more fundamental: that the individual is always reacting with certain very limited patterns of emotion and behavior which reflect the self-image he is identifying with, and that this self-image is itself a reaction, in two senses: first, that the specific self-image that is operating is automatically elicited by the situation, and second, that the self-image is itself a construction made up of reactions to past events from early childhood. This self-image is thus never a spontaneous response or a free choice, but is always a compulsive reaction.
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 56
• discuss »
Reactivity has been understood by many of the wisdom traditions as antithetical to our true nature, and many inner techniques for transformation are one way or another to disengage from reactivity. We see here that the problem with reactivity is that it annihilates presence. It means the soul leaves her ground, and it further implies the absence of inner trust necessary for abiding in one's true nature. It reflects the position that if one continues to be present one will suffer more. Therefore, besides trying to control the environment, the soul learns to control her inner experience. More precisely, the soul experiences the inadequacy of holding as an inner disruption, an undesirable and threatening difficulty. She reacts to these with an array of inner postures and strategies that end up dissociating her even more from her nature.
Inner Journey Home, p. 160
• discuss »
To discuss an individual definition, click the discuss » link below that definition.